Tracking a stolen iPad


A THIEF spoiled the first Sinulog of Smart social media senior supervisor Abbie Real.

Real was in Cebu Friday to attend the launching of an electronic guidebook on Cebu and the data tagging of the province’s heritage and tourism sites using QR code.

When Smart staff members were preparing for the photo at the Heritage of Cebu Monument, someone called out for a fourth device to display the e-book. We already had an iPhone, Kindle and iPad. Abbie said she brought her iPad with her and offered its use. She later said she couldn’t find it.

After we did a short demonstration on how people could download information on heritage and tourism structures through the scanning of QR codes in special markers, Abbie realized her iPad was stolen.

She used the Find My iPhone app that is integrated into the device and found that it was on its way to Barangay Camputhaw.

The final location of the device indicated by the system is accurate to a few meters and you could easily pick the house out in Purok 8, Barangay Camputhaw. The suspected location is indicated by a radius that covers about two houses.

We immediately called up police to help recover the device. I am told that they are still working on leads related to the theft.

I hope Barangay Camputhaw can also look into the incident and help catch the thief.

Abbie said that despite the theft, she “actually had fun and enjoyed the festivities.”

I hope things will turn out well and that Abbie recovers the device and the thief gets jailed. Police have a huge lead with the location data provided by Find My iPhone.

SECURITY, LOCATION. The incident, however, illustrates the extent of advances in location services and security in consumer devices.

Applications and services like Find My iPhone and the Prey Project now enable owners of devices to track down their gadgets when these are lost or stolen. Find My iPhone, for example, allows you to not only track the device but also send a message to it and trigger a loud alarm. The app also allows you to remotely lock or wipe the device clean of data.

Prey Project, on the other hand, not only sends out location data but also pictures taken discreetly using the laptop’s web camera. A colleague actually recovered his MacBook Pro using that application. He was able to get photos of the thief and even his login data in various social networks.

ENABLE FEATURES, SERVICES. Most smartphones and tablets have built-in security features. To protect your gadget, make sure to enable these as soon as you use the device for the first time. The most basic feature to enable is to activate lock screens and password protection. After that, enable location finder apps in your respective application market. You don’t even have to pay for this type of protection as most app markets have free security and location services.

If someone tries to rob your device, don’t fight back. Your life is worth a lot more than an iPhone or iPad. Let the robber take the device and then activate location tracing.

Report the robbery and then give police the location data. If there are sensitive data in the phone or tablet, try to initiate a remote wiping of these.

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  1. This is very helpful, Sir Max. I used to wonder if there’s any software that I can download similar to Computrace LoJack which is design only for US market. Now, I don’t need to worry about tracking down stolen devices. Thank you for you sharing this information.

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